As reported by the New York Post yesterday Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Al Gore met at the opening festivities of the Tribeca Film Festival whose opening program is focused on films and documentaries dealing with the issue of the environment and global warming. In a routine reminiscent of the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello act "who's on first?" this time it was "who's running for President?" Bloomberg introduced Gore and asked Al, "Don't you just hate those rumors about running for President?"
When it was Gore's turn being asked whether the presidential candidates were doing enough to discuss global warming on the campaign trail, Gore quipped, not unseriously, "Well I think Mike is".
Now let's just wait one second. Could this be the opening act of the real life theater the country is waiting to see. Here we have in Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York -- certainly the largest most complex city in the nation. A city devastated by 9/11 when he took office that has since grown and prospered like a phoenix during his tenure. Only this week the city reported the biggest budget surplus in its history. There is a building boom going on throughout the city. The hotels and restaurants are filled, the streets are clean ( OK, cleaner), the school system and public transport are improving, and on.
Nor is Bloomberg afraid to take on the vested and powerful such as the tobacco industry
and the guys over at Pete's Bar, prohibiting smoking in all public places, the food industry prohibiting the use of trans fats in restaurant prepared and school food. And now, most impressively he is the first mayor of a major city in the nation taking on the vested energy interests including some of their supporters in the State Capitol, Albany, to initiate a vast energy program to make New York the most energy efficient city in the country.
This would entail levying a fee on cars entering the most heavily trafficked areas in the city (as is already being done in London and Seoul), setting aside ten percent of the city's budget to retrofit city buildings to improve energy efficiency, perhaps the largest single energy conservation effort ever initiated. A program that according to Bloomberg would save each taxpayer $240 a year after four years of operation. A pledge to reduce the city's energy consumption by 30% over the next ten years. And using his bully pulpit, encouraged all New Yorkers to do away with conventional light bulbs and replace them with energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs.
In recent years, few politicians have gone from the Senate to the White House for the very good reason the Senate does not necessarily develop management skills, and that is what the Presidency and the nation needs desperately, is competent management combined with solid character and judgment. In Bloomberg we have a person in the political domain who encompasses these traits. A person who has the courage, competence and verbal skills to give a nation, tired of tired Washington politicians and fractious political interests, a nation thirsting for wise and unfettered and unbeholden governance, the leadership it deserves.
And then there is Al Gore. Courageous and visionary, understanding global warming is an issue that needs be dealt with if we are to survive as a species. A man who has devoted much of his current life to this issue and has thrust it into the forefront of our public consciousness and made us clearly aware of its importance.
Consider how well the nation would be served with a bi-party government, namely a Bloomberg Presidency with a clear understanding and agreement with Gore that he would accept and administer two Cabinet portfolios in a Bloomberg Presidency, that as Interior Secretary and that as head of the Department of Energy. We would all be the beneficiaries of such competence and visionary leadership and we would have a real shot at freeing ourselves from the morass that we have been backed into.
Let's hear it for the Mike and Al show!